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Higher Education Provider Data: Finance 2021/22

Total income for the UK higher education sector in 2021/22 was £46.9 billion, excluding 21 HE providers who did not return financial data by the publication deadline. At £50.9 billion, total accounting expenditure for the year was affected by a significant pension provision adjustment cost for the year.  

View Higher Education Provider Data: Finance

For the 267 HE providers included in the data, £24.6 billion (53%) of income in 2021/22 came from tuition fees and education contracts. This includes non-UK domicile students’ HE course fees which contributed 21% of providers’ total income at £10.0 billion. 12% of HE providers’ income was from funding body grants and 15% from research grants and contracts.

Overall staff costs accounted for 60% of HE providers’ expenditure. Analysis of staff costs showed that changes to pension provisions or pension adjustments added £6.9 billion to staff costs for the year, with 90 providers recording pension adjustment costs of over £10 million. This is not a typical annual operating expense for these providers and therefore not reflective of their underlying financial operating performance in 2021/22. Key Financial Indicators in today’s release show each provider’s indicators including and excluding this pension cost adjustment.

Other information in today’s release includes balance sheet data showing total reserves of £58.8 billion and capital expenditure data showing £4.1 billion total spend for the year.

A new table for 2021/22 reports on investment in access and participation by the 139 English HE providers who submit access and participation plans to the Office for Students. The providers invested £674 million in access and participation in 2021/22. Further tables show providers’ sources of income, categories of expenditure, cash flow, and senior staff pay.


  • Data for HE providers in England is collected by the Office for Students. Data for HE providers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is collected by HESA (part of Jisc).
  • Finance data for 21 HE providers was not finalised by the cut-off date for publication and are not yet included in the 2021/22 finance open data. Data for these providers will be included in a future update to this release. 
  • Different HE providers use different financial year-end dates. The 2021/22 data includes providers with year-end dates of 31 August 2021 to 31 July 2022. 
  • Universities and colleges in England must have an access and participation plan if they are registered with the Office for Students in the 'Approved (fee cap)' category and they want to charge above the basic tuition fee cap.
  • See Definitions: Finances for full definitions of terms used in the release and explanation of the coverage of statistics.  
  • See Finance data user guide for guidance on using and interpreting Finance open data on the HESA website.
  • To fully analyse the finances of an individual HE provider please refer to that provider’s own published financial statements. 
  • See Upcoming data releases for a schedule of Official Statistics releases from HESA. 
  • HESA is now part of Jisc. Jisc is now the data controller of personal data previously controlled by HESA. Privacy information on the HESA website has been updated.
  • Jisc cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
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